Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Care and Feeding of Vintage Accessories with Gail Carriger

I recently did a blog post about the care and feeding of vintage dresses. Fashionable reader, this is the follow up to that post.

 How to care for Accessories: Shoes, Bags, & Belts

Cleaning leather.
  • I recently discovered Method Leather Love Wipes which I now use to clean my leather shoes, bags, skirts, belts, and jackets. They are gentle, but you should still check on a hidden area of any item of clothing before you run over the whole thing. I don't like the smell, it's very baby wipe, but they work and perhaps more important, are easy to use.
  • Mid summer I tend to pull all my shoes out and give them a clean, let them dry for a day and then oil them. You can use professional leather oil if you like (be prepared for darkening and emphasis of stains, even some color bleeding) I use either sun tan oil or Kui Nut Body Oil because I like the smell.

Spraying the shoes

  • I take this as an opportunity to check the state of my shoes. Do any of them need resoling? Is the leather cracking on any? (Not much you can do for this.) Will any need to be replaced?
  • I don't oil my bags, belts, or jackets because the oil is slow to absorb and gets on everything. If I have the time, instead I'll do a spit shine. Sadly black is the only color this product is made for. Since it's time consuming, I often don't do it if I don't think I'll wear the jacket in a while.
  • Then in the fall, before (or just after) it starts to rain I Scotch Guard my boots, since they are mainly leather and I live in them all winter. I use the made for suede brand for both my suede and latigos, I don't think there's need to have two kinds. (How to waterproof your shoes.)
  • I know this seems like a lot of work, but I do regard my shoes as a kind of collection, I've certainly spent enough money on them, so I believe they should be appropriately cared for.

Scuffs on plastic or vinyl: 

A word on cracking, cuts, or burns. 
  • There is not way to repair leather or vinyl once it has reached such a  damaged state. You can try to cover it up, but it's basically dead.

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can also visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.

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